Friday, April 25, 2014

Ghana opposition party challenges presidential polls results in court


Supporters of National Democratic Congress (NDC) celebrate the victory of their candidate, John Dramani Mahama, on a street in Accra December 9, 2012. Ghana’s main opposition party said the country’s presidential election had been manipulated, raising concerns about the outcome of the poll in a nation seen as a bulwark of democracy in an unstable region. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is seeking the annulment of the Dec. 7 presidential election results that declared President John Mahama winner with 50.70 per cent of the votes.

The party on Friday filed a petition at the Supreme Court, claiming that Mahama was invalidly elected. The party said its candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, according to its calculations, won the vote with 50.28 per cent instead of 47.74 per cent the Electoral Commission credited it.

NPP claims in the petition that President Mahama has 48.26 per cent. The NPP wants Akufo-Addo to be declared the winner of the poll.

The petitioners are Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the running mate NPP candidate and party Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey. The respondents to the petition are President-elect Mahama and the Electoral Commission.

They have 21 days to respond. Meanwhile, president Mahama will be sworn into office on Jan. 7. The electoral commission dismissed the claims of the NPP on Dec. 9 and its chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, declared Mahama the winner. Akufo-Addo was also beaten by the late President John Evans Atta Mills of the NDC in 2008.

Two lawyers of the NPP, Egbert Faible and Godfred Dame, filed the papers at the Supreme Court on Friday. The NPP has refused to accept the results, claiming the election was rigged in favour of President Mahama.

Its supporters have staged a series of demonstrations, some rather violent, to express their rejection of the results.

In some of the demonstrations, supporters of the NDC and journalists were attacked. In the parliamentary race, the NDC won 148 seats in the 275-seat House while the NPP had 122 seats. The People’s National Convention (PNC) won one seat while four independent candidates were also elected.




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